Thursday, November 20, 2008

Day 6

Giving thanks...

The sound of the Idaho wind. I'll admit it has been my #1 annoyance since moving here. A lot of times it is so windy the kids can't play outside, you nearly get knocked over walking from car to store, not to mention what it can do to a perfectly good hairdo Sunday morning. But last night as I lay in bed the brisk powerful winds whipped around my house, and it is a sound and force to be reckoned with. It reminded me of the thunderstorms from back home in Seattle that I loved to be lulled to sleep with.

The warmer weather we have been having. Last year this time we surely had snow on the ground and freezing temperatures. I am so thankful for the beautiful sunshine and calmer windless days so the kids can still go and enjoy our backyard for a little bit longer.

Theme days at the elementary school. Today was 80's day for Bailey, and Bear day for Jacob. They were both so elated to do things pertaining to their 'theme.' Bailey went decked out in her 80's outfit, and I still chuckle when I think back to her comments while I donned a side ponytail on her head. "Mom, are you sure this is how they dressed in the olden' days?" I then of course had to clarify that 80's were definitely not the olden days, and had to show her pictures of me at her age with a side ponytail in my RAD outfit and that I was actually going to school like that for reals not just for fun. And Jacob ransacked the stuff animal buckets in search of the perfect bear to bring to school on Bear day. He smugly trudged out with our humongous stuffed bear that sits next to his bed, which is by the way as big as he is and said "Mom, I think I am gonna take this one to school!" He of course is always looking for the opportunity to get a laugh. What a comedian.

For great teachers. I am so thankful for wonderful teachers out there who actually love their jobs and do so well at them. It gives me so much peace of mind to know that my children are in good hands as they now spend the majority of their time away from home and away from my loving arms. It is hard to let them go, but I find so much comfort in knowing they love school and they love their teachers. I know this is because they feel the love their teachers have for them. That is amazing to me and speaks volumes about the special gifts and talents of teachers out there. It amazes me that they are able to make the one feel as special as the group as a whole.

Magic cookie bars. You are good every time.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Day 5

Giving thanks for...

Visiting teaching. And not just to check it off of a 'to do' list - I feel so lucky to get to know women that live close to me and value those friendships. I have found out more times than I can count that we all have the same basic need - to be valued and accepted and loved. I am often so inspired by what wonderful wives, mothers and women they are, and I leave their homes uplifted and renewed.

Great memories of the past. Days from high school - going to seminary at 5:45 in the morning to make it to my 6 am scripture study class. Yes people, they do still do that when you don't live in Idaho and Utah. My friends and teachers all thought me a little crazy, and truth be told, I don't really remember much of the scripture lessons and stories, I do however remember the friendships made, the games played, and what a blessing it was to start my day with a wonderful spirit. Not only seminary, but the fun times with my friends at youth conference, girls camp, football games, church dances, girls nights out... Days from the Singles ward with all my homies, those were some fun times I am glad I get to remember so fondly.

Sad memories of the past. I am thankful to remember these times as well. I am thankful to be able to remember them now and not have them sting bitterly, but to remember them as defining moments of lessons learned, and experiences that allow me to have compassion and empathy for those around me. I hope my unique experiences will help me to comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and lift another's burdens. I am thankful that I am able to see the world through my own set of glasses, and hope I can fulfill the role and purpose that I am here for.

To be a woman. I love being a girl. I always thought myself a little tom-boyish, especially growing up surrounded by brothers. And maybe I am. Yes, I love a good work-out (When I am FINISHED), I love wearing comfy sweat-pants like clothing, that will never change; I love going make-upless when I don't feel like getting ready, the list could go on. But I also love how I feel when I get dressed up cute, do my hair and make-up, put on a little somethin-somethin to smell good, and the look my husband gets when he sees me that way. I like to look and feel pretty. But appearance reasons aside, I love the attributes that women uniquely and naturally possess. I love and try to be nurturing, compassionate, kind, thoughtful, cleanly, organized, beautify my environment, creative, etc. I love that these things are innate in me, and I 'get' the women around me. I struggle to understand men a lot of the time. It is so interesting how differently we communicate and our own innate qualities. I am so thankful that my husband feels driven to honor, defend, protect, provide, and nurture in his own way. I am thankful that is his role, and that he thinks of it automatically. That way, I can stick to what I think of automatically to fulfill. Makes life easier a lot of the time.

Stephen's mint truffle hot chocolate, found at you local Wal-mart stores. And if you get the biggie can it is like 60 servings or something for less than 10$. This is getting props 2 days in a row. Thank you for all of your comforting mint-truffly-goodness. You better many of my days. Even though you still give this pregnant girl heartburn. It hurts so good.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Day 4

Giving thanks for...

The school day. I love how it makes me rise and shine bright and early to jump start my day into an actual routine. Otherwise, I would definitely stay in bed longer.

Exercise equipment I have at home so I don't have to leave to go to the gym.

Helpful children.

Wonderful women that are in my neighborhood. I admire them and value their friendship and have so much gratitude for all of the help they give me so often.

My washing machine and dryer. Washing clothing by hand or having to go to the laundromat would really suck.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Day 3

I am thankful for...

a comfy bed to sleep in
cold brisk weather, it makes me feel so cozy inside
Stephen's mint truffle hot chocolate, even though the consequences are heartburn
good books to read

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Day 2

I am thankful today for...

A great ward to be a part of - I really felt so much love today
designers who know how to make cute maternity clothes
Christmas music
great friends
my brothers and sisters in law
chocolate chip cookies
sweatpants, oh how I love you
the laughter and innocence of children

Saturday, November 15, 2008

I am following my friend Kathy's good advice and posting things I am thankful for each day until thanksgiving.

A family that loves me
Wonderful friends
Delicious food
My sweet husband
My beautiful Children
My health
A warm house
A job to support our family
The Gospel of Jesus Christ
The gift of the Holy Ghost

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Thank you

I just wanted to say thank you for all of your love and support. I feel so much gratitude and feel so blessed to know so many kind and compassionate women. I sometimes wonder how I got so lucky. I have felt an outpouring of love, and have literally felt my burdens lifted over the past few days. I kind of panicked after posting last time. I wrote that late at night, and was overcome by emotion, and when the air cleared the next day, I started to wonder what the heck I was thinking putting myself out there like that! I hate being that needy girl, so stripped down and broken. I realize though, that at times, we are all stripped down and a little broken. Again, I thank you all for lifting me up in a time of need. I just wanted you all to know, I really am ok. I am going to be ok, I do realize this - and it is up to me to be patient in my life and try to endure - cheerfully if possible. I promise not to be so boo-hooey next time!

Saturday, November 8, 2008


This post is really more for my own personal journal's sake. It is a time in our life that needed to be written down for therapeutic reasons. My intent is not to complain or bring anyone else down, but sometimes writing down my feelings helps me sort them out. This is lengthy.

Chris and I got married almost 9 years ago. This is the song we picked to be 'our song' and danced to at our wedding. That day I dreamed of seems so long ago. It seems like I was a totally different girl. Full of hope, wonder, dreams, and excited for what experiences would lie ahead for us as we began our life together. I had no idea what lay ahead or what we would go through up until this point. I just knew that this was a life I wanted to choose to have with my best friend. I knew I had nothing to fear in facing the life ahead with the man I had chosen to lift me, inspire me, and encourage me through the good, the bad and the ugly. And although nine years doesn't mean much in comparison to our parents and grandparents, that is our reality up to this point, and I am not here to compare myself to another.

It has been a rough year for us. 2 years ago we started our lives over. 2 years ago we left Washington with a 4 year old, a 3 year old, and a new baby. We threw all reason to the wind and left a comfy job, a home we loved, and family and friends behind to follow an feeling of inspiration we strongly had that there was more to our life we were missing. That the possibility of having the family life we so desperately wanted was out there, and was not going to happen in the career we had started. We received some great support by those that love us, but also some strong opposition by others that love us, which was and has been very painful. I am a girl who has always hated change, and has always liked to have a plan for it all, has always liked to have it all under control. It was hard enough then to give up control and follow an inspired feeling bigger than myself. But I did. We both did. We went with it, and although it was hard, we know it was right. I had the opportunity for the first time in my life to face my past, and deal with hard things. I didn't realize how much wounds of the past are truly weights we carry on our backs daily. I didn't realize how much that weight made me so tired. How much it affected my marriage and children and relationships with others. It is so amazing to be free of that. If we had changed our life completely just for my sanity's sake, it would have all been worth it. But it has been more than that; even though it has 100% not been what we had planned or expected!

It's no secret that our business failed. And although that is a HUGE relief to be out of, it is a mess in itself that we are still dealing with. We thought no biggie, let's follow plan B. Chris has a background in law enforcement, a degree and 5 years experience. We tested with Mesa PD back in April, and we were just informed that he passed all of the testing and his background investigation and is qualified for hire. However, it is very competitive, they pick the best candidates to fill positions, and due to the economic situation they aren't hiring a set number anymore. We also just found out the January academy is already full, but they are putting through 30 more officers in March. If Chris doesn't get offered a job by then he will have to go back through the entire testing and background process again because you are only eligible for 1 year from your first testing date - which was yes, April.

We have been praying for the past 3-4 years for direction and inspiration in the choices we make with career so that we can have the family life we so desperately want. We finally decided to have an attitude of asking in faith for the things we want, but only according to his will, not ours. This is something I have always believed, but never really had experience in having things turn out in such a desperate hour completely opposite of what I really thought would fix our problems. Logically, this job in Arizona would completely take care of our financial needs and have a pretty secure future. Deep down, I don't want to live there. It is hot there. I hate 85 degrees, let alone 120 degrees. All my family is in Washington and Utah. I have made great friends here in Idaho, but would love to eventually end up in Utah with most of my family. I am however willing to go wherever my husband can be happy in his job and support us. It has been an excruciatingly lonely and painful year having Chris gone the majority of it, drowning in the leftover mess of our business, flailing with the lack of control over any of the attempts to find other employment, sell our home, make a plan for some security for our children, and oh, did I mention I was on my death bed for 5 months because we are having a surprise baby? We also, by the way don't have any medical insurance this time around, and no doctor really has wanted to care for me without a financial plan in place. It really feels overwhelming some days. Okay, not gonna lie, I ball my guts out a lot of days.

We are now considering plan C. Chris is in his 3rd year as an electrical apprentice, and needs one more year to get his journeyman's license, but that is not really what he wants to do. Unless you own your own business, my feeling is that the job pretty much sucks here in Idaho because you are underpaid and traveling away from your family most of the time. Not to mention benefits suck. We stumbled across this 'Electrical Instrumentation' program at Idaho State University that is a 1 year program, and starts in January (Actually 2 year program but Chris can skip a year because of his previous degree and the electrical experience he has now) but the program is from 8-3 every day. Meaning we have to try to sell our house and find a job that would give him 30 hours a week that can still support 4 kids while he is going to school. And how the heck are we going to pay for school? We then would have an additional year after that to get his journeyman's license because he is so close, and we like to finish what we start. Even though this is obviously a much harder road in the beginning, it has the potential to give us a career with normal work hours, good pay, and options to work and be valuable in his acquired skills pretty much at plants and factories all over the place. Long term, it seems like the right choice to make. Where as a career in law enforcement has great pay and a great retirement and benefits, we are pretty much guaranteed Chris will be gone for every holiday, most Sunday's, and have crappy hours for a good 10 years. It seems like an easy choice to make. But the thought right now of leaving our ward where I have made such good friends, and living in a tiny cooped-up place with 4 children, a husband who will inevitably be absent most of the time for another 2 years, (and having to try and form some sort of support system again) seems a little daunting. I know I can do anything for 2 years, and I know I can surely support my good husband in all his hard work to provide for our little family. I just feel a little overwhelmed right now, it all feels so impossible right now.

This last time Chris left (won't be back until thanksgiving) I pretty much crumbled. I felt completely depleted. For the first time in my life I started to question something I had always known deep in my heart. That my Heavenly Father knows me personally. That my heavenly father loves me. I started to feel so isolated and alone in circumstances we now face, and in the fact that we have absolutely no control in what is happening to us presently. Being out of control is a little hard for me, and seems to be a recurring theme. I have spent a lot of time in my bed. I have spent a lot of time mopping up my own tears and blowing my nose. I have spent a lot of time eating bags of famous amos chocolate chip cookies from Costco. I even ate a whole loaf of chocolate chip pumpkin bread. After a serious headache from weeping, and a serious tummy ache from 7 months of humongous baby belly and too many goodies masking my woes, I decided it was time to spend some time on my knees. After some time on my knees I read Alma 32 in the book of mormon, and realized that in order to make a garden grow and bring forth delicious fruit, we have to tend to it. My own testimony has not been tended to for quite some time, and my faith and hope in a father who loves me and has a plan for my life was withering away just as it speaks of a tree that will bring forth delicious fruit:

in verse 37 "as the tree beginnith to grow, ye will say: let us nourish it with great care, that it may get root, that it may grow up, and bring forth fruit unto us. And now behold, if ye will nourish it with much care it will get root, and grow up, and bring forth fruit."

38: " But if ye neglect the tree, and take no thought for its nourishment, behold it will not get any root; and when the heat of the sun cometh and scorcheth it, because it hath no root it withers away, and ye pluck it up and cast it out."

This morning I was forced out of bed by the sounds of my sweet 6 year old trying to sweep up the sugar mess that was strewn across the entire kitchen and dining room. I emerged to find popcorn popped and crumbled everywhere, cereal and milk poured and spilled about, sticky handfuls of sugar trailed amidst it all, and a 2 year old covered in chunks of sugar looking all the more guilty as I strode quickly to him. I think I washed him off, swept up the dry spots and hand mopped up the sticky spots, put in a movie and got back in bed. The obvious chaos in the living room was just too much to bear, because that is how I felt inside. Swimming with chaos. I told myself that at 9 am I was going to go downstairs and workout on our treadmill, take a shower, and then clean the house and spend some time with the kids today. Today, I was going to set aside the lack of control and be a present mother, be present in the life that I was living. At 9:15 Chris called to see how things were going, and after the usual cry-fest about what the heck are we going to do, and this is so hard to live with right now, I rolled out of bed and onto my knees and asked for strength to surrender all of the burdens of what I could not control, so that I could try to find joy in the life I was living right now. And you know what? I went downstairs for a work-out, took a shower and put on clean clothes, fed my kids their lunch, and after putting Carter down for a nap, Bailey and Jacob helped me clean up the whole house. They didn't even complain. Bailey asked to organize 3 of my cupboards and did an incredible job. She then learned how to unpack and pack the dishwasher (all of her own asking) and Jacob helped me sweep and mop the floor. We even made sock puppets as a reward for all of their willing help. And although I still ate quite a few bags of chocolate chip cookies, things are looking up. I will try to continue to turn my burdens over to one who has already suffered for them, one who does know me and loves me.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Sweetheart post

My friend Kathy aka "Mrs. B" tagged me. Thanks Kathy this was a fun one.


HOW LONG HAVE YOU GUYS BEEN MARRIED? It will be 9 years this coming March

HOW LONG DID YOU DATE? 2 1/2 mo. before a proposal, 4 1/2 mo. before we officially announced it, 9 mo. before we we got hitched for time and all eternity


WHO IS TALLER? Chris. It was an official requirement on my eternal companion list - he had to be bigger and taller than me, and no matter how many children I had I could never at any time out-weigh him. He is so good at keeping up his end of the bargain.

WHO CAN SING BEST? Me. Although Chris knows every word to every song in every genre on the radio, yet getting him to sing hymns in sacrament is like pulling teeth. I like hearing him sing.

WHO IS SMARTER? That is a toss-up. We are both smart in different ways. We compliment each others stupidity.

WHO DOES LAUNDRY? Me. He always dye's something or shrinks something. Totally annoying when he does the laundry.

WHO PAYS BILLS? Me. Not that he wouldn't do a fine job. He is never around, and when he is, he is always good about getting the stuff done that I can't physically do too well or mentally accomplish with little children running amuk.

WHO SLEEPS ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE BED? Chris knows I change my mind about what side is more comfortable on a regular basis, and when he is home, he lets me pick whatever side I want. He's so flexible.

WHO MOWS THE LAWN? Chris. I would end up chopping off one of the kids legs while they ran behind me. Plus I know I would hate riding that mower for 3 hours around our acre in the bazillion degree heat here. I just love him for it.

WHO COOKS DINNER? Me 99.9 % of the time. Which is just fine by me. Healthy to me does not include frozen chicken nuggets, or macaroni and cheese and the likes on a regular basis.

WHO'S FIRST TO ADMIT THEY ARE WRONG? Chris. He is so much more humble than me. I am so lucky to have him.

WHO KISSED WHO FIRST? Please, like he could resist this.

WHO WEARS THE PANTS? We both do. I don't even like the term wearing the pants. I think a happy marriage is one that works together for the common good of the family, and husband and wife support each other in their much needed roles. I feel so comforted and happy and at peace when Chris is fulfilling his responsibilities as a husband, father, and provider; and I know that he is happy to support me in my roles as a wife, mother and caregiver. Marriage is so great when we support each other in our pants-wearing.